Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Conflict intensifies as Saudi crown prince depends on US for his role

Image of Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef in Tunis, Tunisia on 5 April 2017 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Image of Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef in Tunis, Tunisia on 5 April 2017 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Two weeks after he was stripped of most of his power by royal decrees, Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohamed Bin Nayef is still dependent on the US security services to keep him in his position, Al-Khaleej Online reported on Friday.

Bin Nayef apparently received America’s head of Homeland Security, John Kelly, and President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Thomas Bossert on 7 May. This visit by such senior officials, claim French intelligence sources, was to show support for the Saudi Crown Prince in the wake of him receiving a medal from the CIA a couple of weeks ago.

The French explained that Bin Nayef also hosted the Director of the US National Security Agency, Mike Rogers, in March. It was pointed out that the US security services are eager to show support for him in the face of what they describe as his “marginalisation” by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and his son Muhammad Bin Salman. According to a previous report by the French intelligence online journal, the pro-Salman branch of the Saudi royal family is using a honeymoon period with the Trump administration in order to strengthen its position in Riyadh.

The journal suggested that the recent moves by the Saudi monarch to reinforce his son’s power in the kingdom include the appointment of new officials who are close to Bin Salman. Among these is military advisor Ahmed Assiri, who is now second in command of the Saudi public intelligence services. “Besieged” Bin Nayef has until now been responsible for security affairs in the country, and is the preferred Saudi official of the US security community, although this has been “undermined” by Bin Salman since Trump’s inauguration.

Categories
Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUS